Over seven million Americans are either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole, with their criminal records often following them for life and affecting access to higher education, jobs, and housing. Court-ordered monetary sanctions that compel criminal defendants to pay fines, fees, surcharges, and restitution further inhibit their ability to reenter society. In A Pound of Flesh, sociologist Alexes Harris analyzes the rise of monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system and shows how they permanently penalize and marginalize the poor.
One finding animates studies of life in poor urban communities: young men yearn for respect, or the admiration and deference of their peers. Given the threat of violence in their communities, young men learn to defend their bodies. They can gain status through fighting. They can also earn their “stripes” through verbal insults and with the clothes they wear. When mainstream institutions block access to these young men, they invest deeply in these alternative status systems. It’s here where young men can “be known.”
ASA talks to Dr. Alford Young, Jr., specialist in Race and Urban Poverty at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This mini interview was conducted at the ASA 2015 Annual Meeting where we asked ASA members why they #lovesociology.
What explains the rise of race-conscious affirmative action policies in undergraduate admissions? The dominant theory posits that adoption of such policies was precipitated by urban and campus unrest in the North during the late 1960s. Based on primary research in a sample of 17 selective schools, we find limited support for the dominant theory. Affirmative action arose in two distinct waves during the 1960s. A first wave was launched in the early 1960s by northern college administrators inspired by nonviolent civil rights protests in the South.
After September 11, issues of immigration and terrorism merged, heightening surveillance and racializing Latino immigrants as a threat to national security, according to sociologists at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).
Squatters who illegally occupy vacant homes or buildings are not always contributing to apathy or social disorder, says a new University of Michigan study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).
It can actually be a good situation for a neighborhood to have these individuals move into abandoned homes, lessening the chance of them becoming sites for drug users or burned by arsonists, the study indicates.
People in Africa’s Sub-Sahara region, a relatively undeveloped area, are generally satisfied with their sex lives, with the most common rating — reported by 18 percent of respondents — being a perfect “10,” according to Baylor University research that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).
Immigrants detained in a privately run detention facility while awaiting deportation decisions are far less likely than those held in county or city jails to receive visits from their children, a new study finds.
Having sex frequently — and enjoying it — puts older men at higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. For older women, however, good sex may actually lower the risk of hypertension.
That’s according to the first large-scale study of how sex affects heart health in later life. The federally funded research, led by a Michigan State University (MSU) scholar, appears in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
ASA speaks with retired sociologist Jose Calderon at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Calderon talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field.